If someone you know is showing one or more of the following behaviors, he or she may be thinking about suicide. Don’t ignore these warning signs:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
- Looking for a way to kill oneself
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
Get help immediately if you or someone you know has the above warning signs:
In response to increased need, Spectrum Health implemented a team S.A.F.E response protocol and trained more than 5,000 employees on how to respond at a moment’s notice to a patient who may have thoughts of suicide. This protocol included quick patient safety responses and communicating with the code words “Blue Envelope.” Ottawa County Suicide Prevention Coalition, under the leadership of Ottawa Public Health, requested a collaboration, and together we customized this protocol to create School Blue Envelope to train school personnel.
The Zero Suicide Initiative is a national program committing to suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems. Spectrum Health is relentlessly pursuing a reduction in suicide and improving the care for those who seek help. We are leading efforts to equip health care providers to respond quickly and compassionately to a person in crisis with suicidal thoughts. We ensure strong links between our patients, our health system, and other behavioral health services throughout the community to help save lives toward “zero suicide.”
Arashdeep Litt, MD, and Jody Sprague, LMSW, discuss suicide prevention.